This nice little blurb appeared on Publishers Marketplace yesterday . . .
Needless to say, I’m delighted by this fabulous turn of events, and glad to know that I have another outlet in the pipeline for the story-based nonfiction/history work that I do with my writing partner, Jim McNeal. Our shared experience of Plebe Year at the U.S. Naval Academy in 1982-83 is a key framing device of the book, so it was interesting to revisit that, 40+ years on, trying to process not only what we did and learned, but what worked and what didn’t within the experience. Our goal in this project is to evaluate ~20 other crucibles deployed by elite organizations throughout history, then to synthesize our findings into an evaluation of how present and future organizations can create, implement, maintain, or abolish (as appropriate) their own tests and crucibles. We’re about 25,000 words into the project already, and have found it fascinating research and writing thus far.
Jim and I are very grateful to our fantastic agent, Mark Gottlieb at Trident Media Group, for his enthusiasm for our project and his fine work in placing it. I met Mark while at the Writing Workshop Hawai’i, and that has proven to be a transformational professional experience. I learned a lot while there, established some great networking connections, and was able to present my work to people who could help me make it better, before bringing it to market. Thanks on that front to the wonderful Ying Compestine as well for her expert advice at the Workshop, side-by-side with Mark’s, on how best to proceed with my parallel fiction and nonfiction activities. As it turns out, with their sage counsel and support, both of my creative lines will now be advancing to the marketplace of ideas, which is deeply gratifying to me. Win, win, win. I most strongly recommend exploring Writing Workshops‘ other offerings if you are at a point in your creative journey where such connections and learning could be of value to you. Plus, the workshop was super fun and I met some great people, so that’s always a bonus!
I’m also delighted that we’ve found a home for Crucibles with Agate Publishing. Jim and I had the chance to talk with the house’s Founder and President, Doug Siebold, before the offer and deal came to fruition. We deeply appreciated his embrace of our concept, his vision for it within his publishing portfolio, and his overall approach to forging a creative corporate culture that’s anchored not only in bringing meaningful works to market, but in doing so from within an inclusive, diverse, and socially conscious business model. Plus, he’s based in the greater Chicago area, which pleases me, given how creatively resonant my time in the City of the Big Shoulders remains for me. Once again: win, win, win!
2023 continues to be a banner, pinch-myself sort of writing year, with this latest news building on this and this. And it’s still only March, so who knows what’s yet to come. Watch this space . . .
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